Welcome to the Banquet, Cappadonna.
Not any other members of the illustrious Wu-Tang Clan will ever know the pleasure of receiving an invitation to the banquet. (sorry U-God- turns out you actually are as mediocre as everyone thinks and apologies to Masta Killa- only you could rap that slow and somehow still be off beat)
So exactly how did Cappadonna make his way in? Did RZA finally dub him as the 10th official member of the Wu-Tang Clan? Don’t hold your breath. Perhaps he pawned off one of his many gold ropes to pay his admission? (Let’s be honest, those were probably melted down at Cash 4 Gold ten years ago.) Or was it all of his appearances on classic Wu-Tang albums such as Raekwon’s Only Built for Cuban Linx & Ghostface Killah’s , Ironman. That’s not it either, at least not completely. Ok, then maybe it was releasing what many consider to be the most underrated Wu-Tang solo album of all time? But again no, that wasn’t the deciding factor. From rags to riches and riches back to rags, Donna has stood the test of time like a box of twinkies. Surviving 20 years in a business with the attention span of a hyperactive goldfish is no easy feat.
Cappadonna, which is of course Italian for “Captain of the Don’s”, was just that. Many members of the clan, including Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, and Method Man cited Donna as a major influence of their craft. And even before the realization of the Wu-Tang clan, Cappadonna was winning talent shows in Park Hill with his rap skills. Method Man even went so far as to say Donna was the best rapper he knew in the 80s. And there is a good chance that if Donna wasn’t incarcerated during the time the classic Enter the 36 Chambers was being recorded, he would have been an official Wu Tang member from the jump.
Let’s be clear, DONNA HAS CLASSIC VERSES. Plain and simple. Listen to Ice Cream, Winter Warz, Daytona 500, & Triumph- the proof is in the pudding. And what do you know about The Pillage? Nothing? Sounds about right….its 2013 and hip hop heads are still sleeping on it. The Pillage is un-debatably one of the best solo Wu-Tang efforts ever released, not even Inspectah Deck was ever able to put out a solo album as good as The Pillage.
In 2002, Cappadonna left behind all his worldly possessions and elected to be homeless. Yup, that’s right, homeless. This was after the rapper had already appeared on several songs that went platinum and had commercial success of his own when his debut album, The Pillage went gold in under a month. Even with those accomplishments under his belt, Cappadonna (whom was having financial hardship & claimed the RZA allegedly owed him $300,000 in unpaid royalties) was forced to drive a cab just to make ends meet and keep food on the table for his 5 children (3 of which were triplets, CRAZY RIGHT!?) and with all this going on, the dude was still hitting the studio and putting together new material for his fans to vibe to. It doesn’t get any more hip hop than that.
Well, aside from the time when the clan was on tour and Donna got into a fight with a “midget Kiss cover band.” A MIDGET KISS COVER BAND. No typo’s there. Apparently, Cappadonna walked in front of the face painted midgets mid-set and they did not take kindly to his perceived disrespect. The situation was dissolved shortly after but still….the guy got into it with a midget Kiss cover band. How many people can list that on their resume? And did you know that in high school Donna only wore slacks and dress shirts, AND kept his books inside a briefcase!? Now that’s swag. Dude didn’t even wear a pair of jeans until he was 18.
Even without a formal invite, Donna woulda probably shown up to The Banquet dapper from head to toe with a briefcase full of taxi money to throw around, so taking the preemptive strike & sending him an invite was the least we could do.
Welcome to the Banquet, Cappadonna.
by Brandon West.
Welcome to the Banquet, R.A. Dickey.
That’s right, his name is R.A. … Dickey, his initials spell RAD and that is cool. We get it, bro, it’s also semi funny. All jokes aside though, catchers really do need a bigger glove to catch Dickey’s balls. R.A. is one of only two pitchers currently playing Major League Baseball that regularly throw a knuckleball as their primary pitch. R.A.’s knuckler is no joke either, this thing wobbles. Until just last season when R.A. won the National League Cy Young award, homie was average… at best. He also spent a large amount of time in the minor leagues and has bounced between six different teams, wearing five different numbers.
Now we could talk about R.A.’s career totals which are less than impressive, or we could talk about some REAL achievements. Not some crappy online achievements (don’t all watch it at once, his head might explode when his views go up) like this little guy accomplished.
-To start, R.A. is a movie star. Only a few select athletes can add that to their resume. And on top of that, the movie is actually good, was an official selection at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival and is also now on Netflix. He also looks a lot like Kevin Costner and practices for what looks to be a new Dances With Wolves movie in between starts in the major leagues and staring in actual movies.
-R.A. is a HUGE Star Wars fan just like this guy. You probably thought he sucked, you were wrong (ain’t no blanket on the floor that can slow down a Jedi). He celebrates National Star Wars day, warms up to the Imperial march, and smiles like an 8 year old when he meets Chewbacca. He must have somehow found “the force” to command those 80mph knucklers and resurrect his career. R.A. is such a huge fan that Lucas Films gave him some cozy Star Wars pj’s. An adult size onesie at that. His footsies will be so warm!
-He also climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, takes his training very serious (as he should) and looks very similar to Darth Vader while doing so. As if that wasn’t cool enough, he did it to end human trafficking in Mumbai, India and has raised close to $130,000 for the cause.
Even after all that he was still a victim of character assassination by his former team, the New York Mets.
If being a Major League Baseball renaissance man isn’t enough for you to see how cool R.A. is, just watch a few of his highlights to a Beastie Boys song. They make everything cooler, sort of like slow motion.
R.A. Dickey, welcome to the Banquet.
By S. Battle.
Welcome to the Banquet, Steve Stricker.
Sports are weird. Individual sports may be weirder. Golf may be weirdest. And here’s why - golf sometimes has seemingly no fun qualities whatsoever. It’s a slow, expensive, and strangely boring sport. And yet, investment firms, makers of expensive cars and watches, and Fortune 500 companies spend millions on advertising for the millions of people who play and watch. This advertising in turn provides us with the painful television commentators who cover golf by searching for and creating drama with their dialogue, simply because the sport itself often does not create much drama and tension.
“This is suuuuch a difficult shot.”
“It will take unbelieeeevable skill to get this anywhere close to the hole.”
These are phrases you’ll often hear. Ugh… we get it, golf is hard.
And then there are the people who play professional golf while dressing in absurd, and frankly, terrible looking clothes in order to draw more attention to themselves.
Cool pants, bro!
There is, however, one man on the PGA Tour who remains true to his Midwestern (Wisconsin & Illinois) roots by being normal and sneaking under the radar of many average golf fans. – Steve Stricker. Stricker (known as Strick on the Tour) is a successful player on the PGA Tour. His twelve career tour wins have generated lots of respect from not only fellow Tour members, but writers, commentators, and analysts alike. Along with those wins, Strick is known as one of the best putters on tour. He recently made (golf) headlines when Tiger divulged to the press that he had received a couple of tips and thoughts from Stricker days before going on to win in Doral, Florida (one of the Tour’s toughest early season venues – OH DRAMA). So the best player of the last 40-50 years (and possibly of all-time) gets lessons from Steve Stricker. That’s a guy who demands respect.
Golf success and skills aside, Strick is often regarded as one of the nicest guys on tour. This reputation as a great player and greater man has led to him being picked to play on multiple Ryder Cup (2008, 2010, 2012) and President’s Cup (1996, 2007, 2009, 2011) teams. He also spends a lot of time communicating with his fans on Twitter while showing folks what life is like on the tour. He is a common man with great personal and professional talents. He appreciates everything he has because he works so hard. And (thankfully) he dresses pretty conservatively with simplicity and class. Strick is the hard working man mid-westerners appreciate. Strick is a gentleman who brings people together. Strick is an American!
Yep, Strick, it’s time to get excited.
Steve Stricker, nicest guy on the PGA Tour, welcome to the Banquet.
Welcome to the Banquet, Skinny vs T-Mac.
Mike Miller has already been sent an invitation to the Banquet. But while everyone else is focusing on the big 3 for the Heat and the Spurs, they seem to have forgotten the historic match up between former teammates and best buds, Mike “Skinny” Miller and Tracy “T-Mac” McGrady. If you are having a hard time imagining why this match up is so great just think MJ vs Scottie or LeBron vs Wade.The two were teammates playing for the Orlando Magic from 00-03. Fast forward ten years later and the two are now at what could very likely be the end of their careers. Miller is looking to win his second NBA championship while T-Mac is preparing for his first.
The greatness of Skinny Miller has already been touched on but pairing this with the likes of T-Mac makes for real entertainment. After all, not every NBA player is blessed with a golden voice like Mr. McGrady. But whether or not Tracy could steal your girlfriend at a karaoke contest is not all that important.
-Let’s not forget that T-Mac once scored 13 pts in 33 seconds to beat his current team, the San Antonio Spurs. I’m sure Popovich forgot about that little blip in history as fast as he could, but he might want to think about it come crunch time against the Heat.
-He also played in what might have been some of the best uniforms to have ever graced the National Basketball Association. They did have a very intimidating dinosaur on them after all.
Not sure if it was that ferocious looking dinosaur giving Tracy confidence or him being so young from making the leap right out of high school. Either way, this sort of confidence to try and dunk on Pip does not go unnoticed.
-Tracy also had one of the hottest sneakers at the time. While most kids couldn’t afford Air Jordans, which were ranging from $115-$200, excluding the Air Jordan Mule which is in a category by itself. They were also not gangster enough to step out of the house in a pair of Iversons, who was sort of the “bad boy” of the NBA at the time. His High flying dunk at the 2002 All Star Game did however inspire a young LBJ to wear the T-MAC 1.
-Last but certainly not least, T-Mac compares his readiness to play to… a female pigs anatomy?
Although the two aren’t quite as explosive as they once were on the court, this still has the makings of an all-time great matchup, similar to those of Magic & Bird, Ali & Frazier or Kennedy & Nixon (which probably would actually give them a run for their money on the court these days). With the series now tied 1-1, these two have had us all at the edge of our seats. In the two games played, McGrady has racked up a whopping 8 min, 0 pts, 2 reb, 2 ast, 0 stl, 1 blk. Miller on the other hand has put the Heat on his back with 36 min, 14 pts, 4 reb, 1 ast, 0 stl, 0 blk.
While the match up has not let us down, the best is definitely yet to come. So grab some Coors OG (it will definitely help), sit back and enjoy the show. Welcome to the Banquet, Skinny vs T-Mac.
by S. Battle.
Welcome to the Banquet, Mike Miller.
NBA fans know Mike Miller as the sort of trashy looking dude that’s always hurt but occasionally makes it rain from beyond the arc. Non-NBA fans don’t know Mike Miller. Either way, you’re probably wondering why this dude is being invited to the Banquet.
After all, Mike Miller is basically good at one thing, has a terrible rap game, thinks a bit too highly of himself for a guy posting a blah career PER of 14.9, isn’t very handsome, and is from South Dakota.
Well, Mike Miller is getting invited to the Banquet because, aside from those things, he has a lot of achievements.
-To begin with, Mike Miller has a lot of dreamcatcher tattoos. It’s unknown exactly how many. Some believe he has nine in honor of the nine South Dakota Indian reservations. Others believe he has six.
What’s important is that he has dreamcatcher tattoos. There are just not very many people who have dreamcatcher tattoos and play in the NBA (there’s also barely any dudes with dreamcatcher tats).
-Mike Miller has his own energy drink. Michael Jordan doesn’t even have his own energy drink (Gatorade is NOT an energy drink. It is a thirst quencher). Miller’s energy drink is called “Let It Fly Energy.” This is the perfect name. When you want to drink an energy drink sometimes you want to feel like a Rockstar or a Red Bull, but not always. However, everyone always wants to “Let It Fly.” This name is also great because the “It” is an indefinte pronoun that can refer to anything. So you can drink “Let It Fly Energy” and “Let [the basketball] Fly” or “Let [your middle finger] Fly.”
As a bonus you get a free Mike Miller signed trading card with every online purchase. Becuase that baby is going to be worth a gazillion bucks some day you’re basically getting paid to drink the stuff.
-Mike Miller is a really good teammate. Every team has bros that will give you advice on shooting or handling your groupies. But I doubt many teams have a player that will give you advice on your celebrations. Mike Miller does that.
-He had his own monkey.
-Mike Miller has played ball in a palace made of corn. There have been a lot of great players in the history of basketball. But how many of them have ever played in a corn palace? MJ? nope. Kareem? hates corn. Bird? well, probably. But still, being one of the best players to ever “let it fly” in a palace made of corn is pretty impressive.
At some point, Mike Miller will join Tom Brokaw on South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore which will be built right next to the lame United State’s Mount Rushmore. Until then, Mike Miller will always have a place at the Banquet.
Welcome to the Banquet, Mike Miller.
Welcome to the Banquet.
Banquets used to be an occasion for hardworking people to gather together and recognize real achievement. Not the sort of achievement that gets your name in newspapers or on the radio. The sort of achievement that comes along with getting up every day and putting in work. People don’t celebrate this sort of real achievement anymore. Today it’s all about “award shows” that celebrate the G.O.A.T.’s or “receptions” that celebrate some crappy achievement like getting married.
The Banquet is a site dedicated to recognizing real achievement. It will recognize unlikely people in unlikely ways. We will also touch on topics that some might overlook or for whatever reason deem unimportant.
So grab some casserole and maybe even seven or eight banquet beers and join us as we recognize real achievement. Welcome to the Banquet, people.
Welcome To The Banquet
© Copyright 2013